A Deptford primary school has been rated the number one state primary in England by The Sunday Times.
The newspaper named the inner city primary school Grinling Gibbons as the highest ranking of any state school since the survey began 22 years ago.
At Grinling Gibbons 40.5 per cent of students receive free school meals, whilst 48.3 per cent of children have English as their second language.
The Independent, State and Academies Schools tables were published on November 14. Overall, the school appears fourth in the table with only three private schools above it.
Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock said: “Cynthia Eubank, executive head-teacher and her leadership team have done so much to transform the lives of children at Grinling Gibbons. Their ceaseless dedication and passion for giving their pupils the very best in education is exemplary… We are very fortunate to have such high calibre and committed educators in our borough.”
Eubank said: “As a school we are very proud as Lewisham authority have been very supportive in helping with school improvements. We are very proud for everyone and there are lots of schools around us that are working hard too. It’s an achievement for me, for the people who have contributed towards the continued improvement of the school and the parents who have supported and worked with us in their many ways. It is an achievement that we are very proud of”.
Last year the school decided to teach English as a foreign language, leading to an 86 per cent pass rate for English writing. The school has successfully received top marks in Maths and English grammar. Every 11-year-old at the school scored a level 5 in SATs, which is the expected level for 13-year-olds in English grammar.
The Sunday Times takes into consideration exam results from across school years to form the table, analysing over 2,000 state and independent schools. Grinling Gibbons says it has a “creative curriculum designed to encourage [its] children to be life-long learners”.
Eubank puts the school’s successful high level 5 attainment down to “the core skills of leadership, resilience, positive attitude, risk taking, innovation, collaboration and communication”. She told the Daily Mail that “hiring staff suitable for the style of teaching necessary for the standards of Grinling Gibbons was a challenge”.
Grinling Gibbons primary school in Deptford is ranked 4th in Sunday Times league they teach yoga, philosophy & swimming to help kids learn — Martin Robinson (@SurrealAnarchy) November 16, 2014
Linda Vard from Deptford, a parent of a Year 3 pupil said: “I definitely agree with the rating. My eight-year-old daughter is learning things that I was not learning at that age and her writing and reading is good. The teachers look at the children’s personal needs and all kids get support and are pushed more. She really enjoys yoga too”.
Kemi Alaalade from Lewisham has two children at Grinling Gibbons in Year 1 and Year 3b. She said: “The teachers have a passion for what they’re doing”.
Kim Carrington from Lewisham said: ‘Schools depend on teachers. The teachers here are good and have help kids improve their work with spelling and reading”.
On the school’s website, it says it “strives for the highest possible standards [and] looks for the best in each child”.
It was rated as an “outstanding” school by Ofsted in its last inspection in 2010 and this year performed well in tables commissioned by the Department for Education.